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MORE EVIDENCE ON THE ATTRACTION OF MALES TO THE FEMALE SEX PHERMONE OF Opisina arenosella walker

Authors:

L. C. P. FERNANDO ,

COCOS, LK
About L. C. P.
Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka.
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K. A. S. CHANDRASIRI

About K. A. S.
Coconut Research Institute, Lunuwila, Sri Lanka.
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Abstract

Coconut caterpillar, {Opisina arenosella) is a serious pest causing
up to about 80% yield loss in coconut in Sri Lanka (Perera, 1987). Since, it's
first appearance in Batticaloa district (Eastern province), around the turn of
the century, has now spread to Western, Southern, North-Western and Central provinces. An average of 250-500 ha of coconut are being annually infested while half of that extent is subjected to treatment with insecticides.
The primary reason for outbreaks is climatic conditions. The low minimum
temperatures that prevail during the October to February period is detrimental to both the pest and it's natural enemies, particularly parasitoids. At the end of the adverse period, the pest increases rapidly while the parasitoids fail to do so for another 3-4 months. This time lag causes the pest outbreak and at these pest levels, parasitoid numbers are insufficient to exert control. Therefore, if parasitoids could be augmented at the'initial stages of an infestation there are high chances of preventing onset of outbreaks. To augment laboratory- bred parasitoids it is essential to predict when and where early infestations occur since, the pattern and distribution of the infestations vary considerably each year. The presence of a female sex pheromone in coconut caterpillar, Opisina arenosella (Lepidoptera : Oecophoridae) has been revealed from studies in India (Murthy et al., 1995) and in Sri Lanka (Mumford et al., 1986). Although, some evidence was present in the preliminary studies carried out
in Sri Lanka, the results were not conclusive since, there was no significant
difference in the number of male moths caught in virgin female-baited traps
and unbaited traps. However, baited traps caught more, males than females. Therefore, further studies were undertaken to ascertain the attraction of virgin females of Opisina arenosella to conspecific males. Here we present our investigations.
How to Cite: FERNANDO, L.C.P. & CHANDRASIRI, K.A.S., (2010). MORE EVIDENCE ON THE ATTRACTION OF MALES TO THE FEMALE SEX PHERMONE OF Opisina arenosella walker. COCOS. 12, pp.79–81. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cocos.v12i0.2168
Published on 11 Aug 2010.
Peer Reviewed

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